Bam! Microsoft announces “Windows Virtual Desktop” on Azure with multi-user Windows 10

We don’t have all the details yet, but here’s what Microsoft shared in their media prebriefing.

Today at Microsoft Ignite 2018, the company is announcing a new Azure service called “Windows Virtual Desktop,” which will utilize multi-user Windows 10.  With this, Microsoft is finally entering the DaaS space—with full desktops, not just apps or infrastructure—in a big way, and answering some of the questions we’ve been asking all summer.

Just a quick note on the timing of the news: Microsoft pre-briefed the media ahead of Ignite, as is typical with many tech announcements. There are still a lot of details to be filled in, but more information will be coming out in Microsoft blog posts and Ignite sessions later today and this week. I wanted to get the preliminary information out right when the embargo lifted at 9am Eastern—just keep in mind that more will be coming soon.

(Update, 9:30 Eastern time: Here's the official blog post and website.)

Anyway, here’s what we know about Microsoft's new offering from the pre-briefing materials:

  • It’s called Windows Virtual Desktop.
  • It’s delivered on Azure (so they’re pitching all the usual benefits of speed, scale, security, and compliance).
  • It’s the “only cloud-based service that delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience.”
  • It can be used for Office 365 Pro Plus.
  • It includes free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. (How Windows 7 fits in isn’t clear yet.) (Update: They'll offer virtualized Windows 7, too.)
  • They’re aiming for a preview by the end of the year.
It’s a cliché, but let me be the first to say that this validates DaaS offerings by other vendors.

It’s a cliché, but let me be the first to say that this validates DaaS offerings by other vendors, and that Microsoft is following its typical playbook. The DaaS space is starting to get hot, but you know that if Microsoft does this right, then this offering will be very competitive and have tons of customers, with corresponding market effects on the competition. 

I know, this analysis could be applied to about 1,000 other product categories that Microsoft has entered, so it doesn’t sound very original, but this is the case, and dozens of other blogs and news sites are going to be saying the same thing.

So what is interesting?

If Windows Virtual Desktop is offered in conjunction with the recently announced Microsoft Managed Desktop, it could be positioned as a way to keep desktops locked down (possibly in S mode), while running Win32 apps in the cloud.

The free Windows 7 Extended Security Update aspect is interesting, too. The extended lifecycle was just announced a few weeks ago, but I wonder what’s going on here—is the idea to sell a virtual desktop as a bridge to Windows 10? (Update: They'll offer virtualized Windows 7 desktops, too.)

We have plenty of additional questions—how much will Windows Virtual Desktop cost, will there be other use cases for Windows 10 multi-user, what’s going to happen to RDSH in Windows Server, and so on—but as I mentioned, we’ll learn a lot more later today and this week.

Update, 9:30 Eastern time

Microsoft's blog post is up, so here's what else we're learning:

  • Partners involved include: Citrix, CloudJumper, FSLogix, Lakeside Software, Liquidware, People Tech Group, and ThinPrint.
  • Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers will be able to sell it.
  • Citrix will "deeply integrate and build upon" Windows Virtual Desktop.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise and Education customers will be able to use it for free, and just have to pay for the associated compute and storage in their Azure instances.
  • It will be able to deliver full desktops or just apps.

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We have lots more to share - follow me at @RDS4U to stay up to date on all of the additional details we will be sharing on WVD at Microsoft Ignite #rdmievolved
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You will lose your job if this offering doesn't work. Just saying. Make sure this is not ARA (Azure Remote app)
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Lol. ARA was a disaster. So was Citrix Essentials. 3rd time it better work.
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Or just go with CloudJumper since we have been working closely with the RDmi group (RDmi evolved into WVD) for over 18 months and were identified as a leading partner ;)

Max
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Lol, just stating a fact. You could go with a legacy, on-premise solution that has been shoe-horned into the cloud or a native SaaS based application that's been part of the Microsoft WVD ecosystem since it's inception. Not to mention that CloudJumper was specifically named by Microsoft as a Leading Partner in their release announcement blog.

Max
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Max: how many customers do you have?
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Lots, the history of CloudJumper goes back 18 years. Feel free to contact me directly (call the number on our website) and I'll be happy to provide more details.

Max
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How many on Azure doing DaaS?
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We run our own DaaS environment in Azure and we have thousands of partners who use our Cloud Workspace Management Suite software to deploy Cloud Workspaces. Though we've been deployed in Azure since 2015, we specifically launched Cloud Workspace for Azure at Microsoft Inspire. Our CTO also spoke at Microsoft Inspire during the RDmi session. CloudJumper works in Azure today and we will fully support WVD as soon as it is launched.

Max
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You're a managed service provider that will need to get this to work for some use cases. Yeah, but not a broad scale cloud solution any time in the next 18 years.... WVD is good for people like you and I guess why MS is highlighting you. Not an enterprise answer.
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I'll have to respectfully disagree. MS highlighted us because we've been working with them on MS WVD (formerly RDmi) since the beginning, presented with the RDmi team at Inspire, and already have a fully integrated, cost-effective solution that not only works today in Azure but also will fully support and enhance MS WVD when it goes GA. If you're interested, feel free to reach out and I'd be happy to give you a demo of our software and get your feedback.

We're also not an MSP. MSPs & ISVs leverage our VDI/DaaS solutions but we don't offer direct MSP services. Our software today is being used by SMBs, mid-market and Enterprise organizations. With the release of MS WVD, adoption should only grow.
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You are bang on target Max. Knowledge is now spreading that WVD is an evolution of RDmi. So ISVs and re-sellers who rely on MSFTs RDP based delivery for multi-user Win10 will add value by enabling functionality in the WVD mgmt. plane offered by MSFT on Azure. We look forward to what enhancements CloudJumper brings to WVD.

While this may look like a shameless plug and competitive, it's about having information via the ecosystem, and options for customers (we're helping Windows 10 adoption), so I will mention this...

There is other non-MSFT (non-RDP or non-WVD) mgmt. and delivery product for multi-user Win10 available today (at least for Win10 multi user preview edition). These will be useful for existing or BYOL customers for any virtualization environments. Yes we are a small vendor but we are certainly participating in this space. Check out my blog and video 

https://www.chromotif.com/2018/09/windows-10-enterprise-for-virtual-desktops/

https://youtu.be/vaWOzPL8yIc

I am happy to respectfully and certainly stand corrected officially *from MSFT*. 

Thanks.




 
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Microsoft and CloudJumper:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BgEQq4mIAAAUYBJ.jpg:large
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Citrix is given a billion dollar opportunity by Microsoft. There are ~10M VDI seats that can go to Azure. 

Microsoft threw out Vmware, AWS and Nutanix in one move
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Yes, no vmware. Brian Madden must be doing something wrong at Vmware.
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Brian I guess is the marketing dept at VMware these days. He must be itching to ask Microsoft why they didn't ask VMware to the dance unlike Citrix. LOL
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What value does Citrix add that is worth $$$.
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Microsoft has not shipped anything useful in 5 years. RDS 2016, Azure Remote App and now RDMiEvolved. What a bunch of amateurs. 

Citrix and Microsoft have not been able to get anything working on Azure in 18 months. On the other hand, AWS Workspaces owns customers like GE.
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Brad Anderson spends all his time in the gym! What a bozo!
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Why does he love Citrix so much? I don't get it. Nobody is really going to use Citrix Cloud on top because it doesn't work and is too $. They must have pictures...
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From:
https://www.thelayoff.com/t/VjXIjhK

Why is the blog not from a VP? Shouldn't a senior exec like JR or Sridhar write this?

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Long standing Microsoft partner, Citrix, put a "brave face on things" and Calvin Hsu, veep of product marketing at the virtualization biz told The Register: "Citrix delivers a powerful set of digital workspace technologies designed to extend Windows Virtual Desktop."
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That's underwhelming. What happened Calvin?
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What happens to Citrix on AWS and Google and Oracle. Lol. 

What a royal move by Microsoft. 
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Citrix still supports multi-cloud and will continue to do so.  I have numerous customers who have a multi-cloud strategy for resilience and to meet certain global requirements.
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Must be smarter people know it's all posturing, so let marketing gimps take the fall when it people figure it out. Can't be good for Citrix that MS just commoditized their cloud management layer.
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It will fail because it depends on Citrix to make it work...
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CloudJumper has been delivering virtual desktops/DaaS/WaaS inside GCP for years. They were delivering WaaS inside of GCP's 2012 R2 cloud when it was still in beta and continue to offer GCP as one of their DC options.
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BAM indeed!!!

Thanks for the mention Jack. CloudJumper has been working directly with Microsoft on Windows Virtual Desktop for over 18 months and we are extremely excited to see it announced at Ignite. CloudJumper fully supports the orchestration, provisioning, scaling and on-going management of WVDs to an unlimited number of users. We look forward to continue to work with our long-term partners FSLogix, Liquidware and ThinPrint to grow this market.

Max Pruger
Chief Revenue Officer
CloudJumper
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Citrix does everything. Or announces everything!
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It's planning to do DaaS. Note the language used.
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Has announced. Will include. Very basic. Why can't citrix commit to anything whole-heartedly? 


"Citrix has announced the development of a new Desktop as a Service (Currently named Citrix DaaS). This offering will be a fully managed service layered on top of the new Windows Virtual Desktop offering announce today by Microsoft. It will include a Windows 10 virtual desktop hosted on Azure, secure remote access through NetScaler Gateway as a Service with multi-factor authentication, full management of the environment, and the associated Azure hosting. It also will include the ability to purchase Microsoft 365 licensing and controls directly though the service. This will be a very basic desktop experience out of the box and Citrix will work with Partners to provide a customized and enhanced delivery experiences. This offering will be widely available in Q1/Q2 2019"
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The blog is not from a senior leader at Citrix. Such an important announcement and no quote from the CEO at Citrix? Looks fishy.
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Not available for 6-9 months means it's vaporware that will take much longer to mature. Amazon Workspaces must be saying thank you idiots.
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How do you do persistent desktops with multi-user Win10?
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You can't. Same old UPD and profiles mess. 
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Why bother, just adds more testing complexity for apps.
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Excellent announcement from MSFT. Way to go MSFT. Thanks for reporting, Jack Madden.

Chromotif Nebeula can do full multi-user Windows 10 on any cloud (or on prem). https://youtu.be/vaWOzPL8yIc 

Love to see what more MSFT has to announce on this one.

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Win10 multi-user is only supported on Azure!
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Windows Virtual Desktop "Service" is only available on Azure.

If you'd like to do Windows 10 Multi User with your existing licenses to run on any other cloud, Chromotif Nebeula can help.
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Chromotif: you are wrong!
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https://youtu.be/vaWOzPL8yIc 

Pls look at this video. It is using Windows Insider Preview build (Windows 10 Enterprise for Virtual Desktops) and Chromotif can connect multi-user apps and desktop sessions into it. 

From a *new service* perspective, this is available only on Azure. 

I will also check with my MSFT licensing experts.
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Licensing is the main thing. Otherwise you can run Mac OS in the cloud! 
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The way I read below is ... customers with E3 or E5, can access Win 10 multi-user. "Quickly deploy and manage" is only via Azure account, but virtualization environment doesn't mean only Azure. I am also consulting MSFT for more info.


======

Use your existing licenses and systems

Access Windows Virtual Desktop for free if you’re a Microsoft 365 E3, E5, or F1 customer or a Windows E3 or E5 customer—you only need to setup or use an Azure free account to quickly deploy and manage your virtualization environment. 

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Microsoft made it clear that this is on Azure only in the session.
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I've listened back to both of Brad's segments from today a couple of times, and unfortunately, his wording is still ambiguous. I'm going to make a PR inquiry, and there are more sessions coming up, so... cross your fingers for more details.
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You were sleeping!
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I've asked this question of Scott Manchester today:
Q: "Will multi-user Windows 10 be available outside of Azure?"
A: "No, Azure enables the capability"

On a related question, if you want Universal Apps, Store, Search, Cortana then RDS in server 2019 *will not* deliver this. 

Multi-user Windows 10 (restricted to delivery from Azure as WVD) is the platform that will achieve this. 
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Thanks—this is the point that really kicks off the conversation about VDI versus RDSH versus multi-user Windows 10. Maybe in a few years multi-user Windows 10 does open up to other locations? And in the meantime, we have to raise the call to make that happen, especially if RDSH on Windows Server doesn't have a long future? Or by then, are we all on VDI, and all this is in the rear-view mirror?
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It's a FU Amazon Workspaces, Horizon/Other Cloud on Amazon/GCP move. Evil genius, if it actually worked. Why only partner with Citrix and not announce VMware and others at the same time. Something fishy, must have Brad pictures somewhere...
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RDMi is a bunch of powershell scripts. No one can do it realistically without a partner. 
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Everybody got something. Except VMware.
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Since Nerdio leverages Azure APIs and playbooks, this move is an advantage for our clients. If you are looking to get in the DaaS game and own your practice. Look at Nerdio for Azure.
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I attended a webinar last week with Workspot and Azure and looks like Workspot is not mentioned in the press release this week? Is workspot powering the virtual desktop offering?
https://www.microsoftevents.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x4623765b9b3.
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It's not Workspot. It is based on the previously named project called RDMi. 

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Citrix sued them, found the filing here https://insight.rpxcorp.com/litigation_documents/12888906 I have not gone through the details, too long... 

I'd assume Microsoft legal wants to stay out of the way publicly because they want  XenApp seats to come to Azure. Privately Microsoft I am sure will encourage everybody to go to Azure, including VMware and Workspot.
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WVD is a half-baked product with a lousy architecture. 

Get excited:
- no udp support for RDP protocol
- no persistent desktops
- gateway only in us-east
- no story for profiles (can't get outlook to work)
- free because it's useless

Citrix will solve all these problems.  
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Let's take the announcement from MSFT in a positive spirit.

1) MSFT validates that multi-user Win10 is an ideal way to do desktops and app on the cloud (that 1-1 VDI or single user mode isn't the only way and may be more expensive)

2) MSFT just pumped more excitement and marketing around Win10 Enterprise and virtual desktops.

3) Partners may will be able to add value in areas you mentioned above. Some are even mentioned in the announcement. Chromotif protocol is already UDP, supports global relays, desktop persistence, etc. More partners with the right tech. stack will join in.

4) Virtual desktops and apps aren't just old news. They are still very relevant and the market is poised for more growth.


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Funny that vendors like CloudJumper and Chromotif are trolling
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It is Azure only Full Stop.
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Confirmed.
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Citrix Cloud will add many problems and like RDMi is not proven. There is a long long road ahead. I'd like to see the details or exactly how Citrix is going to use RDMi, or is it just partnership marketing to eventually just sell Citrix Cloud. Surely if they are using RDMi, Citrix Cloud as it stands today is dead?
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Antitrust?
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Surely if restricted to just Azure this will trigger the various commissions to look into this.
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Citrix doesn't have a product today. They are just re-skinning essentials product to provide a vanilla Win10 desktop. It's a shame that Microsoft is participating in this charade with Citrix.

What a joke of an announcement! 
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Waiting for something that works from MSFT!
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